All of the therapeutic approaches used are evidence based and tailored to meet your individual needs; therefore one or a number of therapeutic approaches may be used during your therapy. It is important to note that the strongest predicator of change is the therapeutic relationship you and your therapist build. This relationship will therefore be an important factor in your recovery.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
DBT is an integrative therapy that uses a mix of techniques such as CBT and mindfulness based approaches. DBT explores and makes sense of dialectics (opposing beliefs) that often result in people feeling ‘stuck’. A common dialectic discussed in DBT relates to accepting yourself as you are whilst also considering how to change to improve your well-being. One of the core aims for DBT is to help you better understand and cope with emotions that are often found to be overwhelming. DBT utilses a variety of techniques to help balance opposing views, reduce overwhelming distress and develop skills to achieve a ‘life worth living’.
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Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
CAT is an integrative therapy that draws upon different psychological models and theories. This combined approach results in an individualised therapy with an emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and working together to make sense of the difficulties you are experiencing. CAT helps to identify current problems and explores their origins, often in relation to your early life experiences and relationships. This approach develops your understanding of learnt roles and unhelpful patterns of relating to yourself and others. During therapy ‘exits’ from these current patterns are created which explore how to make positive changes in the present and also move forward following therapy.
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Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a collaborative therapy, which helps to identify and explore the link between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Often unhelpful ‘vicious’ cycles develop which serve to maintain your problem(s). CBT mainly focuses on the ‘here and now’; whilst past events and experiences will be considered during therapy, overcoming current difficulties are at the root of the sessions. Working with your therapist, CBT will help you change unhelpful behaviours, or thinking patterns, or both of these. This approach will also help you to develop practical self-help strategies to manage and reduce your current difficulties.
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Narrative Therapy is a respectful and non-pathologising therapy. It views the person as separate from the problem and helps you to identify ways to reduce the impact the problem has on your life. Narrative Therapy is collaborative and creative with therapeutic conversations guided by you and what you need. Together, you and your therapist will explore stories about your life, their meaning and impact they have had. These conversations will include positive stories and difficult stories you have experienced, and will also explore alternative stories where the problem’s influence has been reduced.
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Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)
SFBT is a goal focused and solution-building approach which focuses on your future hopes rather than exploring your problems and how they have developed. SFBT will help you to consider your current strengths and the successes you have had in reducing the impact of the problem(s). SFBT aims to help you feel more hopeful about the future. During therapy you will be encouraged to focus on your ‘preferred future’ and supported to strengthen the strategies you have to ensure you achieve your goals.
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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
ACT is a form of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which utilises a number of different techniques to enhance psychological wellbeing. Key messages in ACT relate to accepting what cannot be changed and committing to action to make a life worth living. The objective of ACT is not to eliminate or change difficult feelings but instead encourages people to develop a more accepting and compassionate relationship with their experiences. Mindfulness techniques are an integral part of ACT and encourage being present with the moment and developing more awareness and control over negative thoughts and feelings.
You can learn more about ACT here: